harm

noun
\ ˈhärm How to pronounce harm (audio) \

Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical or mental damage : injury the amount of harm sustained by the boat during the storm
2 : mischief, hurt I meant you no harm.

harm

verb
harmed; harming; harms

Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to damage or injure physically or mentally : to cause harm (see harm entry 1) to No animals were harmed in the making of the film. the national interest … was gravely harmed by this attack— Elmer Davis

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Other Words from harm

Verb

harmer noun

Synonyms for harm

Synonyms: Noun

affliction, damage, detriment, hurt, injury

Synonyms: Verb

damage, hurt, injure, wound

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Choose the Right Synonym for harm

Verb

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success. badly injured in an accident harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss. careful not to harm the animals hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings. hurt by their callous remarks damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness. a table damaged in shipping impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution. years of smoking had impaired his health mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement. the text is marred by many typos

Noun

harm, injury, and damage mean an act that causes loss or pain. harm can be used of anything that causes suffering or loss. The frost did great harm to the crops. injury is likely to be used of something that has as a result the loss of health or success. She suffered an injury to the eyes. damage stresses the idea of loss (as of value or fitness). The fire caused much damage to the furniture.

Examples of harm in a Sentence

Noun

They threatened him with bodily harm. The scandal has done irreparable harm to his reputation. She'll do anything to protect her children from harm. They have suffered serious physical harm. These new regulations could cause lasting harm to small businesses.

Verb

He would never intentionally harm his children. chemicals that could harm the environment The scandal has seriously harmed his reputation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The fundamental misunderstanding of DST is a result of us Americans (humans, really) being impatient and all too willing to miscalculate the the harm of short-term problems over subtle long-term benefits. Dan Nosowitz, Popular Mechanics, "Daylight Savings Time Is Actually a Good Thing," 4 Mar. 2019 That equates to about 20 years of after-tax income for the officers, not to mention the harm to their careers. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Will Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh deliver the change conservatives crave?," 10 July 2018 And a growing population shift to Northern and Central California woodland areas had put more people in harm’s way. Rebecca Smith, WSJ, "PG&E Sparked at Least 1,500 California Fires. Now the Utility Faces Collapse.," 13 Jan. 2019 Featuring a range of battle scenes, from clashes in remote valleys to daring helicopter flights, Chivers’s work reminds us to think about those fellow Americans in harm’s way — some of them needlessly — every day. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 The result could be semiautonomous warships that sail with smaller crews, putting fewer in harm’s way. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Future Warships Could Be Sailed Remotely with Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality," 27 Nov. 2018 Similarly, holding authors morally responsible motivates a healthy degree of caution on topics which might cause real harm. Ars Technica, "The Journal of Controversial Ideas—academic freedom sans responsibility is reckless," 25 Nov. 2018 Israeli officials accuse Hamas of encouraging civilians to put themselves in harm’s way and then used them as cover to commit violence. NBC News, "An Israeli shell killed Amr Samour in Gaza, even though he wasn't a protester," 9 July 2018 Particulate pollution not only triggers similar respiratory problems, but can result in cardiovascular harm in the form of heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure, and reduced blood supply to the heart. Alex Park, Houston Chronicle, "Air pollution poses health risk to Houstonians, study finds," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Four patients obtained screws, paper clips, and a razor from a pencil sharpener and used them to harm themselves, the records say. Fred Clasen-kelly, Julianna Rennie And Cassie Cope, charlotteobserver, "Teen alleges psych center therapist was 'touching me in a way I hated,' NC report says," 27 June 2018 Trump has used Harley-Davidson as an example of a U.S. business that is being harmed by trade barriers. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In response to tariffs, Harley-Davidson moving more motorcycle production overseas," 25 June 2018 Dolores inches closer, as though determined not to let Teddy harm her. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Westworld' Bloodbath Sets the Stage For a Deadly Finale," 17 June 2018 Buy Photo As a pediatrician working in a community that has been called Philadelphia’s epicenter of opioid addiction, I have been focused, of course, on how children are harmed by this crisis. Daniel R. Taylor, Philly.com, "My patients are kids caught in the middle of the opioid crisis. Who speaks for them?," 14 June 2018 Wall argues the fact Osbourne is affected and potentially harmed by the Staples Center Commitment Letter gives the long-time rocker standing to sue over the arrangement. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "Ozzy Osbourne's Lawyer Calls AEG Motion to Dismiss Venue Wars Lawsuit 'Flat Wrong'," 4 June 2018 The law has already harmed the mining companies, despite not having been implemented yet, according to a note investors submitted to the Mines Ministry on April 30. William Clowes, Bloomberg.com, "Miners Threaten Legal Action Against Congo Over New Code," 31 May 2018 This would allow people, or organizations, to bring lawsuits on behalf of wild rice arguing that the grain itself was being harmed through an action. Rory Taylor, Teen Vogue, "How Rights of Nature Legislation Affords Legal Standing, or Personhood, to Natural Entities," 22 Apr. 2019 For example, kale reappearing on the list will likely make headlines, despite the lack of data on whether or not eating high amounts of kale can actually harm to you. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The New Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Are Here — But Should You Care?," 20 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harm

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harm

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English hearm; akin to Old High German harm injury, Old Church Slavonic sramŭ shame

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Learn More about harm

Dictionary Entries near harm

harlot

harlotry

harls

harm

harm's way

harman

harmattan

Statistics for harm

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harm

The first known use of harm was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for harm

harm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage or injury : something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful, etc.

harm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to (someone or something) : to cause harm to (someone or something)

harm

noun
\ ˈhärm How to pronounce harm (audio) \

Kids Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage : injury The storm did little harm to the sheltered beach.

harm

verb
harmed; harming

Kids Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to Too much sun can harm your skin.

harm

noun

Legal Definition of harm

: loss of or damage to a person's right, property, or physical or mental well-being : injury

Other Words from harm

harm transitive verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on harm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harm

Spanish Central: Translation of harm

Nglish: Translation of harm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harm for Arabic Speakers

Comments on harm

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